Thursday, 11 June 2009

Recycling in Fashion

Initial experimentation with the idea of upcycling/recycling old garments and restyling them into new, unique pieces. I was particuarly interested in the concept of taking menswear garments and turning them into one off womenswear pieces.

all images copyright Francesca Warren 2009

"In a number of scenarios, recycling alone is not a one-stop solution to sustainable production and consumption; it represents only a small part of a far wider picture. Many researchers are beginning to suspect that recycling actually provides an ethical 'get out of jail free card' , which liberates consumer conscience and, in so doing, generates even more waste." ( Emotionally Durable Design. Jonathan Chapman)

I agree with this view point, but what can we as designers do to prevent 'recycled' clothing being landfilled after its second life? We need to find a system of reuse that means that all waste is used and re-used without losing quality, or we need to find a way to design that means clothing can evolve to provide the wearer with different uses over time. This could mean that the wearer may form an emotional attachment to the garment, therefore using it for longer. I think this is where Technology and Design could be combined to reform the whole clothing industry.

Recycling should not be an excuse for more rapid discarding.